I was reminded of this when I was talking with Ryan about nutrition. I was advising him on the importance of fueling his body properly and making good snack choices when he suggested Fiber One bars. I laughed and said, "Maybe not those...unless you want gas in a bad way." To which he responded, "They don't do that to me. Maybe that happens to you because your things are old and stuff." Yep, he said that. To which, I responded, "What things? What things, EXACTLY, are we talking about?" We both chuckled, but I quickly--and without mention--grabbed a slip of paper to write down my gripe for the jar.
So, yes, I realize I've crossed the line over into old fuddy duddy. This revelation was reinforced by my recent education on the YOLO phenomenon. I had heard the word tossed around a couple of times but didn't really understand what it stood for or how it was being used. Once it was explained to me, of course, I scoffed, I laughed and then I talked to my kids about how illogical the whole thing is.
I recently read a funny story on facebook of a mom's text exchange with her daughter. She was advising her daughter to drive carefully and typed YOLO at the end. The daughter's response was "Mom, it's not usually used as a warning." But, really, why not? It makes perfect sense to me.
You see, using "You Only Live Once" to justify any act or self-indulgent behavior is not only ridiculous and reckless, but it goes against what the phrase really implies. Sure at 17, or 22, you feel like anything's possible, you know better, and you can rule the world. What does anyone know about you and what you've been through or where you're headed anyway? Right? At this particular time in your life, you're entitled, you're out to have fun and screw everyone else, there's plenty of time for you to get serious and get boring, but right now it's about F-U-N, whatever comes up, whatever the cost. Except...assuming you don't do anything that causes immediate and real damage (like injuring yourself or another person), you are inevitably going to get to your 30s and be stuck with the horrifying "oh, shit, I can't believe I ever thought that was a good idea" like the rest of us.
Except... unlike the older generations, everything you do now is out there for the world to see...FOREVER. There is no "just amongst friends" or letting it fade into the past. Everything you do and say is blasted out (usually by you) for everyone to be in on, and thanks to the internet, it will never go away. So while in your teens or twenties it seemed like a good idea to party it up in your underwear, bottles of alcohol in hand complete with picture proof while you shout out YOLO as your justification (and you know who you are), one day you will be a mother or a father...or even before that, you will be someone applying for employment. And (hopefully) you'll be a much more grounded version of yourself. What then?
What You Only Live Once really means is that there are no do overs. You can't undo anything. You have to take responsibility for the choices you make whether you want to or not, good or bad. Make sure your choices are good ones on the front end. Everything you do now is defining the person you will become later. I know you don't have the foresight to see that, or even care right now, but give it some thought. You will care later.
Make good choices. There are no do overs. YOLO.